About this book..
Rock ‘n’ Roll doesn’t necessarily mean a band. It doesn’t mean a singer, and it doesn’t mean a lyric, really. It’s that question of trying to be immortal’ Malcolm McLaren
The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is the timeless story of the quest for such pop immortality. When a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager propelled by a dark, malign voice in his head … Can Max Mojo’s band of talented social misfits repeat the success and pay back the mounting debts accrued from an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and hope for the best? Featuring much-loved characters from the international bestseller, The Last Days of Disco, this is an absurdly funny, riotously ambitious and deeply human story of small-town rivalries, music, confused adolescence and, above all, hope, from one of Scotland’s finest new voices.
I must admit I hadn’t heard of David F Ross or his books until I was chatting to a fellow blogger who had highly recommended them (the first book was in her top 10 of last year!) So I jumped at an opportunity to see what all the hype was about and ended up back down memory lane reading this fabulous flashback to Scotland in the 1980s. I haven’t read the first book in the trilogy but as this isn’t strictly a follow on there will be no problem if you haven’t either as this can totally be read as a standalone (Last Days of Disco has been added to my wishlist though!)
This is the tale of The Miraculous Vespas and the road to their short lived success as a band. Grant Delgado, his girlfriend Maggie, the Sylvester twins Eddie and Simon all overseen by Dale Wishart-now known by his alter ego name Max Mojo (after a spell of being unconscious in hospital). It’s a tale full of local gangsters, friendships and dark humour set in a time where no-one knew about political correctness and Christmas dinner wasn’t allowed to interfere with the Top Of The Pops Christmas Day special.
As a teenager growing up in Scotland at the time this novel is set, I found it to be a totally realistic social commentary of that time! I loved the way it was told in local dialect (this may take a little time to get used to for some but my husband’s collection of Oor Wullie and The Boons annuals have always been a Christmas highlight for me!) as this makes it feel like your are just having a chat down the pub with your mates. Be warned though the language is VERY strong if you are easily offended but again this novel is committed to realism so that’s to be expected.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the memories this book has brought back-the songs and the pop culture media of the time. In fact I had forgotten about Look-In but now I can even remember the totally annoying advert for it (la la la la la look iiiiiin!)
This novel was a revelation for me, a breath of fresh air and I can honestly say I have never read anything like it. Roll on the final book in the trilogy!
Huge thanks to Karen at Orenda books for providing my review copy.